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Teaching economics, appreciating spontaneous order, and economics as a public science

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  • Boettke, Peter

Abstract

James M. Buchanan has argued that the primary role that the economist plays in society is a pedagogical one. The job of the economists is to teach students the principles of economics, most notably an understanding of spontaneous order and the role of the price system in generating that order within the market. The didactic purpose is simply to teach students so they may in fact become informed participants within the democratic process of collective choice. It is in our job as teachers of the basic principles of economic science, and not as pure researchers, let alone as policy experts who act as saviors, that justifies the public expenditure on the discipline. Economics to Buchanan is a ‘prophylactic against popular fallacies’ and not a tool of social control.

Suggested Citation

  • Boettke, Peter, 2010. "Teaching economics, appreciating spontaneous order, and economics as a public science," MPRA Paper 33064, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33064
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Peter J. Boettke & Christopher J. Coyne & Peter T. Leeson, 2015. "Institutional stickiness and the New Development Economics," Chapters,in: Culture and Economic Action, chapter 6, pages 123-146 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Peter Leeson & J. Subrick, 2006. "Robust political economy," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer;Society for the Development of Austrian Economics, vol. 19(2), pages 107-111, June.
    3. Dani Rodrik, 2007. "Introductiion to One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth," Introductory Chapters,in: One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth Princeton University Press.
    4. Boettke, Peter, 2011. "Institutional transition and the problem of credible commitment," MPRA Paper 32089, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Régis Servant, 2010. "La recherche de bonnes règles sociales: objet de science et de choix démocratique ? Le cas de Friedrich Hayek," Post-Print hal-00641440, HAL.
    2. Richard Wagner, 2012. "Remembering Bill Niskanen: pursuing economics as a public science in the service of liberty," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 1-7, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pedagogy; Teaching Economics; History of Economic Thought;

    JEL classification:

    • D70 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - General
    • B31 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals - - - Individuals
    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism

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